"Equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging are not just about a person, it’s really being embedded into the culture and fabric of organizations, communities, and businesses to create transformational impact for all."
SVP, Chief Administrative Officer
Priority Demonstration Areas
To illustrate how SLDC will advance the five primary goals of the Economic Justice Action Plan, several demonstration areas were selected, each representing differing degrees of disinvestment, low occupancy, and overall need. Additionally, each demonstration area covers primarily EJI-1 and EJI-2 areas to ensure investment is made in corridors and neighborhoods that have a combination of opportunity and need.
The demonstrations show what is possible by focusing public and private investment along commercial corridors and adjacent neighborhoods. SLDC will use a combination of local statutory incentive tools and federal and state programs to leverage private, taxable development that will generate additional public funds dedicated to further empowerment and transformation. The objective of this approach is two-fold: to stabilize the local real estate market to support private and unsubsidized investment and to empower residents and businesses to grow personal and neighborhood wealth.
To focus SLDC’s development efforts and better understand how economic justice can be achieved, four demonstration areas were selected:
MLK Corridor, Walnut Park, Dutchtown,
and Project Connect.
In the demonstration areas, investment in new construction and renovation of unoccupied lots and buildings will be necessary to increase demand and attract private, taxable real estate investment. Additional funding will be utilized to support residents and property owners in updating and investing in their own properties. SLDC will also prioritize resident and business empowerment programs in the demonstration areas, including those that will ensure residents have the opportunity to increase their income and build wealth through homeownership and business ownership. Combined, these initial public investments will help stabilize these neighborhoods, spur growth, and ultimately attract further private investment and generate additional public revenue for further reinvestment nearby.
Although SLDC’s Economic Justice Action Plan will be utilized throughout the City in the years to come, the demonstration areas provide an opportunity to explore what each of the Plan’s three pillars looks like in practice. We will demonstrate Equitable & Inclusive Development in the Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (“MLK”) Corridor and Walnut Park area, Economic Empowerment in Dutchtown, and Neighborhood Transformation in the neighborhoods around Project Connect and Walnut Park.
Equitable & Inclusive Development on the MLK Corridor and in Walnut Park
Economic Empowerment in Dutchtown
Neighborhood Transformation in the Project Connect neighborhoods
The Economic Justice Index should serve as an initial call to action for SLDC, and over time, become a measure of success, decision-making tool, and way to improve accountability with the public.
Economic Justice Scorecard
Tracking Progress Using the Economic Justice Index
The Economic Justice Index should serve as an initial call to action for SLDC, and over time, become a measure of success, decision-making tool, and way to improve accountability with the public. The Index incorporates a mixture of factors based on Community Development Corporation (CDC) jurisdictions, U.S. Census-based records, land utilization, etc. These factors may change slightly over time as new organizations take shape, land is developed, and new Census data is released. The most effective way to keep the Index accurate and reflect the progress SLDC is making toward economic justice is to ensure that the Index is populated primarily by the City’s own data. The Index should inform the Economic Justice Scorecard, an annual snapshot of St. Louis based on real-time data supplied by the City departments and agencies, and collected and aggregated by SLDC.